The Logitech Z523 is a mid range 2.1 speaker system that promises to deliver a sound projecting uniformly in all directions. Let's immerse ourselves into this 360 degree sound field and hear them out loud.
Logitech Z523: Features & Design
The Logitech Z523 is a nicely designed 2.1 PC speaker system. The build quality of the speaker is not top notch but just above average. The system has a claimed frequency response of 35Hz to 20KHz. The total system output is rated at 40 watts RMS with the sub rated at 21 watts and 9.5 watts for each satellite.
Each satellite is made up of plastic and has a dark glossy finish which attracts fingerprints. The back and front of each satellite has a 2-inch full driver each to disperse the music in all directions so that listeners at the back and front of the Logitech Z523 will hear the same sound.
This driver design makes the Logitech Z523's design suitable for the keeping the speaker in the centre of the room to entertain everyone. The sound reflecting back from the back speakers when placing them on the desk is also a concern. The satellites do not stand straight up at 90 degree and are slightly tilted towards the back at 70 degrees (approx).
Each measures around 19.5x8.6x13.2cm which won't cause much problems space-wise. The right channel satellite has controls for volume/power and bass level.
Headphones-out and aux-in are placed on the side of this right channel satellite as well. The Logitech Z523's cubic subwoofer has a down-firing 4-inch driver with a circular pressure driver at the front. The back of the sub has an RCA auxiliary input, one RCA port for left channel speaker and one D-sub connector for right channel. The right satellite also has one fixed cable for audio source; so, three audio sources can be connected to the system at the same time which is useful.
Setting up the speaker is simple and having the bass control on the satellite is convenient. It would be better if there was a wireless remote considering the Logitech Z523's price tag though.
Logitech Z523: Sound Quality
Tested in the PCWorld.in Labs.
We connected the Cowon iAudio D2+ to its aux-in port on the satellite, the attached line-in cable to a PC with Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme and a portable DVD player to its RCA aux-in. There is no selector for audio source on the system which we think Logitech should have included as all the sounds from the three sources could be heard on the Logitech Z523 if they all were being played at the same time.
The Logitech Z523's sound quality is not very satisfying. Of course, we can't forget the Omni-directional sound which is the system's main feature.
At moderate volume level, the highs were subtle, and the shrill mids were dominating the sound while the bass was loose and lacked punch and details. The mids being the most prominent lacked the warmth and crispness of what we heard from other Logitech speakers such as the X-540. The bass was big but it was neither tight nor detailed.
While we were playing Trance and Hip Hop, the bass could be felt but was not articulate. The highs could be heard but lacked sharpness, transparency and brightness. Whatever source we tried, the highs lacked transparency and even after tweaking the sound, there were no smoothly extended highs like the ones on Creative Inspire S2. Vocals and guitar sounded a bit shrill and could have sounded fuller and richer.
For movies and games, the Logitech Z523 also did not bring much thrill to the entertainment. Vocals on dialogue, gunshots, panning effect, explosions etc. were not reproduced as they were intended to be. For instance, vocals sounded as if the speakers were in an enclosure or they sounded too congested. Overall, the dominance of the upper mids and the rest of the frequencies taking the backseat is the main problem.
Despite its unique design and omni-directional sound, the Logitech Z523's sound quality is mediocre and they are an average set of 2.1 speakers at best.
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